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Placenta. 2005 Aug;26(7):548-55.

Multiple anti-apoptotic pathways stimulated by EGF in cytotrophoblasts.

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Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and the University of Alberta Perinatal Research Centre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


Epidermal growth factor (EGF) reduces apoptosis in primary cytotrophoblast (CT) in culture through two separate pathways: the extracellular signal related kinase (ERK) 1/2 and phosphatidyl inositol 3-kinase (PI-3 kinase) paths. Whether other pathways are involved in survival signalling is unknown. We here show that the c-Jun NH2 terminal kinase (JNK) and the mitogen activated kinase (MAPK) p38 are also activated by EGF as seen by increases in JNK and p38 phosphorylation. However, inhibition of JNK phosphorylation with the specific inhibitor SP600125 increases apoptosis in a manner refractory to the addition of EGF but inhibition of p38 phosphorylation with its specific inhibitor SB 203580 does not increase apoptosis. EGF also activates sphingosine kinase-1 (SPHK-1), which converts sphingosine to sphingosine-1-phosphate, and its inhibition with dimethyl sphingosine (DMS) increased trophoblast death. Inhibition of SPHK-1 also did not affect EGF stimulated phosphorylation of PI-3 kinase, Akt, ERK1/2 or p38 but inhibition of PI-3 kinase with a specific inhibitor LY294002 partly (40%) inhibited the EGF-stimulated increase in SPHK-1 activity. We conclude that, in addition to the PI-3 kinase and ERK1/2 pathways, EGF acts through its receptor to stimulate JNK, p38 and SPHK-1 pathways, but that the JNK and SPHK-1, and not the p38, pathways are involved in suppressing apoptosis. This information provides evidence that EGF stimulates survival along multiple pathways that differ in trophoblast and other cell types.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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